I don’t like responding to emails today but I have to. I have to force myself to think of the blessings I have, like having a job, a husband who cares for me and children who are good kids really. But it is hard to appreciate all that when I heard the news from my sister – Mom is sick, has been since she fainted and fell down the front steps of our home two weeks ago.
She came to, but she had a concussion. It seems she is out of sorts, like disoriented about what is happening around her. Sue, my sister, brought her to the hospital, insisted on it in fact. This was after mom started to stumble and her speech slurred, three hours after the incident. By the time they got to the hospital, she was having trouble staying awake. It seemed that she had a stroke. The left side of her body is a bit limp and could hardly move.
Sue thought we should send her to the Colorado Neurological Institute, where they can give her the right medical attention. She will be undergoing occupational therapy and physical therapy to regain the use of the left side of her body. What hits me the most is that the stroke has rendered her immobile. For a person who loves the outdoors, it would be like a living prison for her.
I wish I could be there for her right now, but I am in another state and I have a family to take care of. Mom has been a single parent since I was twelve and Sue, ten. Our dad passed away in an accident at work and she had to find a job and be a single parent. In the 60s this was very difficult to do, but with some help from her brothers, she was able to raise us, send us to school and even keep the house.
I remember the day I left home to move to San Francisco. Although we were excited at the prospect of a new life, a new job in California, it was hard leaving mom. Sue lived in the next town with her family. Mom is a proud woman, fiercely independent and always brave to face life head on. I am positive that her neurotherapy sessions would be a success.
Now, it is unimaginable for me to think of how it must be hard for her. Sue has decided to stay with her all throughout her rehabilitation and will just have to commute to work every day. Her kids are in university so it’s just really her and Bill, her husband.
Sometimes I feel guilty at being away. Mom always reassured us that when it comes to choices, family should come first, always. I am aware that my decision is right, but it does not make it easy for me to be away from the woman who has always been there for us, whether I am three or forty-three. Parents never cease to be parents. And for that I am always grateful to mom, for teaching me how to be a good one.